The Alzheimer’s Association has awarded 3 competitive projects to our unit. The funded projects have been the following:
Role of synaptic miRNA and astrocyte miRNA delivery in Alzheimer’s disease (AARG-22-974373) led by Dr Olivia Belvin
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may be driven by a perturbance of small molecules (microRNAs) at neuronal junctions in the brain (synapses) that is exacerbated by delivery of microRNA in vesicles as part of a disease-related inflammatory response. We will compare microRNA expression in synapses and vesicles from the brain (postmortem) and blood of volunteers with and without AD. This study could have an important impact on human health by guiding therapeutic strategies to prevent or relieve synaptic stresses in AD.
Multimodal assessment of brain inflammatory biomarkers in Down syndrome -associated Alzheimer’s Disease (AARG-22-973966) led by Dr María Carmona Iragui
Because Alzheimer’s disease is a complex condition in which inflammation plays a significant role, this project aims to study inflammatory biomarkers in biofluids of people with Down syndrome, a genetically determined form of Alzheimer’s disease. We will determine the inflammatory phenotypes across plasma, CSF and astrocyte extracellular vesicles and their association with neuroimaging and cognition in a cohort of adults with Down syndrome.
Molecular bases of bilingualism’s protective effect vs cognitive decline (AACSF-22-972945) led by Dr Miguel Angel Santos Santos
Bilingualism has been found to delay the onset of dementia by 4 years. Knowledge of how bilingualism contributes to protection against pathophysiologic processes is crucial for translation to future strategies that could be implemented as low-cost public health policy reducing dementia impact worldwide. Approaching the issue from a biological perspective is essential for advancement however few data exist allowing investigation of physiologic mechanisms. We will study what key “ingredients” of bilingualism provide protection against cognitive decline and how they relate to crucial pathologic physiologic processes reflected in cerebrospinal fluid, plasma, and neuroimaging biomarkers.